Boyd's injury may force Woodson into lineup

October 18, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON -- A new injury to quarterback Shane Boyd's left shoulder could result in Kentucky coach Rich Brooks having no choice but to play redshirt freshman Andre Woodson more Saturday at Auburn.

Brooks said Sunday that Boyd re-injured his shoulder before Kentucky's 94-yard drive that gave the Wildcats a 7-6 fourth-quarter lead over South Carolina before the Gamecocks scored to win 12-7.

Boyd was 18-for-29 passing for 149 yards against South Carolina and ran six times for 15 yards. He also lost two fumbles.

Woodson played one series in the first half before costing UK a scoring chance when he also fumbled. He was 4 for 5 passing for 22 yards.


" I guess I have to coach them better," Brooks said. "Obviously, it's something we stress. Those fumbles were very, very costly. You can't expect to beat anybody and turn the ball over like that."

Brooks acknowledged Sunday that "there is a point" where he would have to play Woodson more to give him a chance to show what he could do.

"It could be this week because of Shane's uncertainty," Brooks said. "If he's unable to practice and looks like he's not at 100 percent, this may be the week it happens. It's probably not the best of choices going against one of the best defenses in the nation and a team ranked in the top five. But I wouldn't rule out that possibility because we do not know the exact extent of Shane's injury."

Brooks cautioned that did not mean he is ready to give up on this season and that Boyd still gives his team the best chance to win because of his experience and versatility.

"You want to put the players on the field who give you the best chance to win a football game," Brooks said. "Sometimes that backfires on you, but the bottom line is that we had a chance to win the game."

Blown coverage: Brooks said the Wildcats only blitzed once on South Carolina's game-winning drive to avoid giving up a long run.

"They were mixing the run and pass. We did not want them to get up the field if they creased us with a run," Brooks said. "

He said cornerback Antoine Huffman also missed "two or three plays" on that drive with an injury, including one that resulted in a linebacker staying in the game and failing to cover a third-down pass conversion.

"We can second guess all we want. It's easy to say after the fact that maybe we should have blitzed, but we had our chances," Brooks said.

Brooks said the Cats had a "busted coverage" on the game-winning touchdown pass.

"For some reason, one safety broke up," Brooks said. "He has that deep half of the field. As the quarterback scrambled, No. 82 (Troy Williamson) ran by and he broke up where the corner (back) and linebacker were already in coverage. It was just a busted coverage. We were supposed to have a safety back right where he caught the ball."

Hurting: Running back Arliss Beach and linebacker Jon Sumrall both suffered "minor concussions" Saturday but are expected to practice this week. Offensive guard Micah Jones re-aggravated an ankle injury and Brooks said it is doubtful that he will play at Auburn. Receiver Maurice Marchman injured a right calf that kept him out of the final part of Saturday's game, but he should be able to play this week. Receiver Glenn Holt also is expected to practice and play despite injuries to his ankle and thigh against South Carolina.

No Anderson: Linebacker Chad Anderson, UK's leading tackler, did not play against South Carolina. Instead, freshman Wesley Woodyard, a former safety, played most of the game and had four tackles.

"Chad has not played well," Brooks said Sunday when asked about Anderson's absence. "Wesley Woodyard and Jon Sumrall have been doing better things than him."

Brooks said Anderson was also being disciplined along with some other players for missing class.

Brooks wouldn't say if Anderson would play at Auburn or not.

"We'll see how he does (this week)," Brooks said. "We did hold them (South Carolina) to 12 points (without him)."

Brooks praise of Woodyard could tell what the coaches think has been missing in Anderson's play.

"I guarantee you he (Woodyard) made mistakes, but he made them at full speed. He can run and make up for mistakes and he will hit you when he gets to you," the Kentucky coach said. "He's the type of player you can build around for the future."

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